Spousal Support, Spousal Maintenance and Alimony

In some instances, a wife will ask for alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance. Alimony is the court-ordered payment of money to your wife after the dissolution of marriage. If you made more money (especially if you were the primary breadwinner), there is a good chance your wife will seek alimony. The bigger the difference in earnings and the longer you were married, the larger the alimony payment will be. Check your specific state spousal support laws here.

Reducing Your Exposure to Spousal Maintenance:

If the divorce is not going to occur for some time, the husband should consider the following actions to reduce his exposure to alimony:

  • reduce the current household expenses;
  • if the parties have separated, establish a precedent of the wife supporting her own needs with little or no financial support from the husband;
  • reduce debt;
  • help get the wife a job or more education;
  • maximize time with the children;
  • investigate marital misconduct;
  • don’t engage in marital misconduct;
  • allow a temporary disability to improve; and
  • if income is trending down, it would make sense in holding off the divorce to use a lower income in calculating spousal maintenance.
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